Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Another B2B sale to Wall Street types

I'm a little disappointed to find that VSS has sold the Hanley Wood publications to JPMorgan Partners. I'd held out hope -- perhaps naively -- that the B2B properties would be sold to a B2B publisher.
Certainly there is some positive news in the deal. JPMorgan paid good money for Hanley Wood -- some $650 million. That tends to boost the asking price of Primedia Business and other B2B companies that are now on sale (see my fellow B2B media blogger David Shaw for a look at the numbers behind the deal.)
But when I look past the money, I see trouble.
I've worked for Wall Street publishers before. Henry Kravis controls Primedia through KKR. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of my fair city, is the owner of Bloomberg News. The two men hold the two top slots on my list of the Five Most Repugnant People I Have Ever Known.
I've written before about the clash between the distasteful management style that brings success on Wall Street and the supportive environment that fosters the subject-area expertise that B2B publications need to prosper.
Here's hoping that JPMorgan sees something of value in the values of our industry.

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